Rhode Island Clam Chowder

People have long believed that there are two kinds of clam chowder: New England and that tomato stuff from New York.  Did you know that there is a third kind?  Rhode Island gets some support too!  It has cream but just not a ton of it, so it is lighter than most.  Clams?  Oh, it has clams! And potatoes,  nice and tender.  Onions – enough to let you know they came to the party.   The headliner is the clams, and they steal the show.
16 oz chopped clams
2 strips bacon, chopped
16 oz chopped russet potatoes
1 quart clam juice
1 stalk of celery, diced
1/2 white onion, diced
3 stalks celery, diced
8 oz coconut milk (regular milk will work)
1 teaspoon white pepper
Oyster crackers to serve
In soup kettle, add diced bacon and cook on medium; remove the bacon, but leave the drippings
Add celery, cook for 2 minutes
Add clam juice
Add clams
Add onion
Add potatoes
Cook for 35 minutes until potatoes are soft
Add pepper
You want this super hot – just under a boil
Add one ladle of coconut milk to bottom of serving bowl
Add chowder to bowl and stir
If you use whole fresh clams, toss out any that don’t fully open
Serve with oyster crackers or use croutons and French fried onions
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